×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

City Council Passes Resolution Urging Brunei to Sell Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning Brunei for implementation of Sharia laws, but stopped short of issuing a city-sanctioned boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The city’s resolution, passed in a 5-0 vote, also calls for Brunei to divest ownership of the iconic property if it does not drop plans for the draconian laws, which include punishment like stoning to death for gay and lesbian relationships. It also calls on the country to drop investments of any other properties it owns in Beverly Hills.

Mayor Lili Bosse, who said she made a “personal decision” not to return to the hotel, called the planned laws in Brunei “shocking and inhumane,” and said they “must be met with a strong statement of support for the human rights of the people of Brunei.” She said that the decision to boycott should be a “personal choice.”

“We are standing for human rights, we are standing for dignity and we are standing for those who don’t have a voice,” said Bosse, who is the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

The hotel is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, controlled by the government and the sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.

The City Council meeting was marked by strong emotions.

Robert Tanenbaum, the trial attorney and novelist, called on a stronger resolution that declared a boycott, calling the millions that the city collects in bed taxes and other taxes “blood money.”

“You cannot bifurcate the asset that gives money back to Brunei, that continues its horrendous and inhumane policies,” he said.

Jimmy Delshad, former mayor of the city, called on a stronger statement, saying that it is “important to make bigger noise than just that.”

“I think the Beverly Hills Hotel should not be a centennial sponsor for Beverly Hills,” he said, calling for a citywide boycott.

Robert S. Anderson, whose great-grandmother opened the hotel in 1912 and who is its official historian, said that if the council was singling out the property, they should address other properties with ownership by countries with repressive laws. He also said that the council’s action could be perceived “that it is a war on Muslims that you are declaring here tonight.”

“The Beverly Hills Hotel does not send any money back to Brunei,” he said. “It is reinvested in the community, in the hotel.”

He said that the hotel has already seen a drop off of about $1.5 million in bookings.

A number of employees spoke out in support of the hotel, warning that the boycott was misdirected.

“I have been told by someone that comes on a regular basis that we are a collateral damage,” said one employee, who said she already has noticed a slowdown in business.

The CEO of the Dorchester Collection, Christopher Cowdray, said that this was a “global issue. It is not just about the sultan of Brunei. These laws exist in other parts of the world.” But he said that he didn’t see the council take action “refuting laws in those countries.”

Although he warned of the message that a boycott would send, particularly for tourism to the Los Angeles area, he said that he would make sure that employees were protected if business dropped.

 

More Biz

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Lawsuit Expected Next Week in Response to Universal Music Fire

    A Los Angeles law firm representing several Universal Music recording artists affected by the 2008 fire that destroyed a huge number of master recordings is expected to file a lawsuit as early as next week. King told Variety that he expects to sue for negligence and other torts. He declined to identify his clients, saying [...]

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Nicholas Sparks Responds as LGBT Discrimination Claim Resurfaces

    Nicholas Sparks, the prolific author of romance novels, is facing renewed allegations that he discriminated against gay students at his Christian school in North Carolina. The allegations were first leveled by Saul Benjamin, the former headmaster of the Epiphany School of Global Studies, in a wrongful termination suit he filed in 2014. Benjamin’s suit alleged [...]

  • Tyler the Creator and DJ Khaled

    Inside the DJ Khaled-Tyler, the Creator Chart Battle

    The controversy surrounding the recent chart battle between DJ Khaled and Tyler the Creator — in which a bundle promoting Khaled’s album was disqualified from adding to its sales tally for the May 24 Billboard 200 album chart, allowing the No. 1 spot to go to Tyler’s “Igor” — has been a first-class problem for [...]

  • Cuba Gooding Jr. Diversity

    Cuba Gooding Jr. Charged with Misdemeanor Forcible Touching

    Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., has been charged with a misdemeanor count of forcible touching following an incident at a nightclub, the New York Police Department said Thursday. Gooding turned himself in to NYPD detectives on Thursday, surrounded by a throng of media. Later in the day, he was arraigned in front of Judge Herb Moses. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    CAA Challenges Writers Guild of America's Legal Standing in Packaging Fee Lawsuit

    CAA has challenged the Writers Guild of America’s legal standing for bringing forth the lawsuit against Hollywood’s four largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees. CAA’s latest legal response to the suit filed by the WGA in Los Angeles Superior Court in April asserts that the guild does not have the right to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content